Oliveira and Famous win bronze in Bahamas
Bermuda’s athletes at the Commonwealth Youth Games signed off in style, with Matthew Oliveira and Sakari Famous winning medals on the final day in Nassau, Bahamas.
Cyclist Oliveira reaffirmed his reputation as one of the island’s most promising athletes after winning a second medal, claiming bronze in the boys’ road race yesterday.
Four days after his gold medal in the time-trial, Oliveira powered his way to another podium finish, completing the 40½-mile course in a time of 1hr 32min 29sec.
The 17-year-old finished just one tenth of a second behind first-place Thomas Bostock, of Isle of Man, and recorded the same time as runner-up Samuel Culverwell, of Guernsey.
Famous also earned bronze after clearing 1.76 metres on her second attempt in the high jump. The 17-year-old failed in her effort at 1.79, but her jump was still good enough for a place on the podium.
DeVon Bean, the Bermuda athletics head coach, described Famous as a “true competitor” who once again rose to the big occasion.
“Sakari is a gamer; she always seems to rise to the occasion when all the marbles are on the line,” Bean said. “Her coach Rohan Simons gave her the game plan and she executed it like the champion performer she is.
“Two of her attempts at 1.79 were close as she just clipped the bar with the back of her calves.
“This marks the end of the season for Sakari as she rose to the forefront and ended it with a well-deserved bronze medal.”
Simons was kept abreast of Famous’s progress during the event via social media.
“The medal is a big deal, I’m super proud,” Simons said. “To even get picked for the Commonwealth Youth Games you have to be the best athlete in your country, because it is only two who can go, a boy and a girl.”
In the girls’ road race yesterday, Alyssa Rowse narrowly missed out on a second medal, having won bronze in the time-trial on Wednesday, finishing fourth in a sprint finish.
Rowse finished in the same time of 1:57:15 as race winner Rhonda Callander, of Scotland, second-place Tara Ferguson, of Isle of Man, and Madeleine Fasnacht, of Australia, who placed third.
Madelyn Moore and Jesse Washington were both in action during the eighth and final swimming session at the Games yesterday.
Both swimmers set Bermudian 17-18 age-group records in their 50 metres freestyle finals, Moore coming fifth in the girls’ race in 26.54 and Washington placing fifth in the boys’ competition in 23.79.
“This was a very pleasing way for them to conclude their participation in this meet,” said Richard Goodwin, of the Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association. “It shows their focus and dedication to the sport of swimming. It further indicates the progress they are making and has set a new standard for their future involvement.”
Washington also competed in the 100 butterfly finals at the Games, finishing eighth with a personal best of 56.42 on Friday.
Mia Black, the Bermuda chef de Mission, hailed the medal-winning heroics of Oliveira, Rowse and Famous, and believes all of Bermuda’s athletes in Nassau did the island proud.
“We’re very pleased with Matthew’s performances,” said Black, who is also the Bermuda National Athletics Association vice-president. “He and the rest of the cycling team certainly did Bermuda proud with three medals. The athletes on a whole performed very well, achieving personal-best performances and making finals.
“They were all supportive of one another and I believed it helped with the performances of the team as a whole. Overall this has been a great games and the Bahamas have been gracious hosts.”
Bermuda women’s rugby sevens team, a late invitation to the Games after England withdrew from the competition, lost all five of their group games. They were beaten 60-0 by Australia, 58-0 by Wales, 64-0 by Canada, 50-5 by Fiji and 20-0 by Trinidad and Tobago. Bermuda also lost to Trinidad in the fifth/sixth-place game 29-0 on Friday.
Black added: “The rugby team arrived later than the rest of our athletes and had to hit the ground running with there being a game the morning after they arrived.
“They had a great support staff and I’m sure that’s not the last we’ll see of them.”
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